Lawn to Lake

Lawns are a significant feature in the urban environment.  These often heavily managed landscapes have the potential to contribute to stormwater runoff pollution due to over-fertilization, over-application of pesticides, overwatering, and often compacted soils.  During the past few years, a number of Great Lakes states, including Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, and Wisconsin have restricted the use of fertilizers containing phosphorus for some applications.  Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for plant growth, however, over or improper application of phosphorus containing fertilizers can contribute to nutrient overloading (eutrophication) in our lakes and streams.

The Lawn to Lake Program is a collaborative effort to protect water resources in the Great Lakes region by promoting healthy lawn and landscape practices.  The program’s approach to sustainable landscaping emphasizes these principles:

  1. Right plant, right place
  2. Fertilize appropriately
  3. Manage lawn pests responsibly
  4. Water efficiently
  5. Compost
  6. Attract wildlife
  7. Reduce stormwater runoff

Download a copy of the Lawn to Lake Guidebook HERE

To take the Lawn to Lake Pledge, please visit